The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has exercised some of its options to buy more shares of Blythe Masters’ blockchain firm – Digital Asset Holdings. The exchange today announced that it has paid an additional $7.16 million to expand its control in the venture from around 5% to approximately 8.5% and will appoint a representative to the board of Digital Asset Holdings as it increases its holding.
This comes after ASX already paying $10.5 million to acquire its initial 5% equity stake in the startup in January. ASX then selected Digital Asset Holdings to develop solutions for the Australian market utilizing distributed ledger technology. The exchange wants a blockchain solution that will help mitigate risk and reduce back-office administration and compliance costs, as well as offer faster settlement of equity transactions for investors.
Back in February 2015, ASX reported that it would replace or upgrade all of its main trading and post- trade platforms. This goes hand in hand with its investments in Digital Asset Holdings, and phase 1 of the program will run to the end of 2016, replacing ASX’s existing trading and risk management systems. Phase 2 will focus on ASX’s post-trade services, including clearing and settlement of the cash equities market.
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In April 2016 Digital Asset Holdings ‘acquihired’ a Switzerland-based startup – Elevence Digital Finance AG. The move significantly increased Digital Asset’s technical team with eight more professionals, while also expanding its European presence with the opening of a Zurich office. Elevence’s technology is being integrated into the Digital Asset software stack, combining modeled asset workflows with a distributed ledger to ensure that previously siloed records are synchronized and accurate.